Blog Template Theology of the Body: And so it begins.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

And so it begins.

I've begun working on my dissertation this week, after completing my last field exam, reviewing almost 700 pages of notes carefully recorded during coursework, and combing through directories to the Vatican Archives for upcoming research. Praise be! I've organized my carrel and reserved my key texts for months ahead... and as of today, I've found my mandate:

"We must welcome gratefully every attempt at gaining a better theological understanding of the nature and mode of operation of indulgences, especially any attempt which will do this in such a way that the man of today can more easily overcome the undeniable repressions he has developed with regard to this matter (for it is not immediately certain that the repressions are due merely to the nature of this matter)...much remains sill to be done on this question. So much remains to be done in a theological way and not primarly in the way of the history of dogmas. Or to be more precise, it must be done in the historical field of dogma, but by a dogmatic theologian who has the courage to pose questions and who does, in fact, pose them- quite unconcerned about whether he is also immediately capable of answering them adequately... this work should go on and must not come to a standstill simply because this subject is rather tricky, and also, dogmatic theologians so not like to skate on thin ice."

- Karl Rahner, "Remarks on the Theology of Indulgences," 1964.

I'll be praying for the grace to live up to the task. Good thing I love thin ice.